Vibrant Garden Colors

I’m going to have some fun with colors today. Have you ever stopped to think about all the colors in plants? Thinking of God creating all these vibrant tones and varying delightful pallets fascinates me.

Two bloggers have really inspired me with their colors…one  has a page she calls Color Scouting…I’ve decided  to try it out with the bouquet I made this morning in my favorite pitcher/vase….

august bouquet

I have also been inspired by two incredible florists who weekly publish a photo of gorgeous bouquets that they create called The Seasonal Bouquet Project.

This morning  I picked golden rod on my walk by the lake and added wisteria vines, rosemary, salvia, zinnias, sunflowers and a little bit of liriope.

august bouquet2

And here is the palette…

palette copyHow fun!

A couple more close-ups…

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august bouquet4

Don’t you love the colors?

Lots of colorful veggies too…  Today I picked two kinds of eggplant, beans, Anaheim peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots.

harvest

Look at that vibrant red…

carrots

And orange…pumpkins are orange too…

pumpkins

Our first watermelon.,, it’s not very big, but it doesn’t seem to be growing any larger and it did give a hollow sound when I knocked on it.  It weighed 8 pounds…

watermelon

Do you know how many different shades of green there are? Did you notice that the Moon and Stars watermelon has yellow spots on the leaves too?

Hope you are enjoying all the beautiful colors of the summer garden…This incredible summer…at least it is for us out on the prairie…where the wind comes sweeping down the plain and the hawks make lazy circles in the skies…they really do… 🙂

Mr. Knightly Has a Friend and Giveaway Update…

The weather is just unbelievable here for August… Last night it thundered and rained, and this morning I grabbed my little camera and went out to practice taking pictures of all the droplets of water on the veggies…

pumpkin 1

pumpkin2

And then I saw this…

pumpkin3

Pumpkin leaves trailing like some incredible cascading leaf sculpture. How cool is that?

I didn’t mean to get off on pumpkins and water droplets…what I want to say is that while I was walking and taking photos I heard Mr. Knightly crowing, and then another rooster somewhere in the distance would crow back…back and forth they were talking to each other, never even having seen each other. I got the feeling that they were greatly enjoying this communication…back and forth.

Mr. Knightly now has a friend…a long distance friend… 🙂

And this reminded me of my fellow blogging friends…never having seen each other for the most part…we post and “like” and comment and carry on a kind of long distant communication that we enjoy. Maybe it’s not so unnatural after all…

Thank you all for all your encouragement, advice, and sympathy…Hugs to all of you…long distant hugs that is…if there is such a thing… 🙂

One day more and on Thursday the 15th, I will announce the winner. I wanted to show you the painting in the barn wood frame…

giveaway copy

Until Thursday then… tell your friends, fellow bloggers, and all the chicken lovers you know. 🙂

Comment to enter on this post here…Welsummer Sis Giveaway

Now, I’m off to start some fall seeds a-growing…

Garden Update and Savings on a Fall Seed Collection

I’ve been trying to do a garden update, but by the time I’m ready to post the pictures I’ve taken, everything has grown and my pics are outdated…

My pumpkins are twice as big as this now…and already turning orange…

Pumpkin

Moon and Stars watermelons…I’ve always wanted to grow these and I’m really excited to see how they turn out…

Moon and Stars

We’re starting to get quite a few cucumbers now, but this one was huge…

cucumber

Eggplant…

Eggplant

Last week I picked two of these and made a wonderful Eggplant Parmesan with homegrown eggplant and basil…

Eggplant Parmesan

That was the first layer…now the second…

Eggplant Parmesan2

And finally a crumb topping made out of Ezekiel bread…

Eggplant Parmesan3

Let me know if you want the recipe. 🙂

This morning one of my daughters, the interior design painter daughter, showed me the cover of the new Sherwin Williams publication called STIR…

Stir

There is an article inside about  Farmer John who has an heirloom seed company out in California and she gave me his website info…

sustainableseedco.com

Once at the website I was surprised to see his reasonably priced seeds of amazing heirloom varieties and this Fall Garden Collection

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I love supporting farmers like this, don’t you?

Working Before the Storm

I just love this website… Old World Garden Farms. I have been learning so much from them, such as putting in a spring cover crop. “Unheard of” was the attitude of the feed store owner to my husband when he asked about rye grass for a spring cover crop. He didn’t have any so we went ahead and bought clover, and I sowed it into my new pumpkin bed today. I’m excited to see how this works!

Today Old World Garden Farms had a wonderful article about Cutting Back, Dividing and Preparing Ornamental Grasses For Spring. The following picture shows the ornamental grasses behind their patio…just gorgeous and totally inspiring!

fall-ornamental-grasses

One of my sons was into landscaping a couple of years ago and planted some grasses and leftover plants from a job in our backyard still in the pots so he could use them for other jobs someday. He has moved away now and these ornamental grasses have been growing in the same pots sunk in the ground for years.  What I did today:  cut back the ornamental grasses, pulled them out of the pots, divided them and replanted them. These pictures are not pretty, but we are going to see how they progressively look better as I work on them this year.

grasses

I divided 3 plants into 6…Here is what it looks like from a distance…

grasses 2 copy

For years we have talked about putting a gazebo up…now I’m definitely inspired to do just that. So this is the “before” pic. 🙂 Hopefully my “after” pic will look as pretty as Old World Garden Farms.

I also worked over  in the greenhouse. Spread compost in all the beds and then put DE over all the veggies. It was 90 degrees in the greenhouse and 60 outside, but we are expecting a storm…rain tomorrow and maybe snow the next day. I say “bring it on”! We need all the moisture we can get.

Sarah used some spinach and pansies from the greenhouse to decorate the tomato salad that she served this evening with lentil soup and rice.

salad

We’ve been buying hydroponic tomatoes from Urban Agrarian. I like supporting these guys. They are located down at the old OKC Farmer’s Market.

Another project in the making is turning our backyard into a fruit and vegetable garden. Here is what it looks like today…another “before” pic…

backyard copy

Pretty boring…Anna and I have big plans. 🙂

OK, now for the weekly update on the grow lights…

grow lights

Looking good…So, how’s your garden coming along?

What to Do with the Pumpkins?

We have these beautiful pumpkins from the garden and I don’t know what to do with them… Any suggestions?

pumpkins

When I suggested Pumpkin Soup, one of my daughters said, “The guys don’t really like pumpkin and one of the worst things you can do after they come home from a hard days work is give them Pumpkin Soup!”  🙂

So…what to do with the pumpkins?

I roasted one up the other day…gave a quarter of it to the chickens (they didn’t eat it) and dried the pumpkin seeds…

pumpkin seeds

Then I pureed the rest in a blender with a little water. This color is just gorgeous, isn’t it?

pumpkin 2

I love Grasmere Gingerbread.  Years ago, my daughters (Sage and Tera) visited this quaint little cottage shop and brought home a tin of this famous gingerbread with them. The flavor was unforgettable!

gingerbread

So what does gingerbread have to do with pumpkin?   My thought was to try and recreate the Grasmere gingerbread  with some pumpkin added.  Just a note here about the way I cook…it’s a little here and a little there and I never follow a recipe exactly… : )

Grasmere_gingerbread_729x572-620x0

I found this beautiful photo by Marina Oliphant and a recipe for Grasmere Gingerbread online at goodfood, but anyone ‘in the know’ will tell you that the original recipe is a secret, so any recipe we find may not be as good.

  • 125g plain flour ( 1/2 cup)
  • 60g soft brown sugar (1/4 cup )
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 80g unsalted butter, melted and allowed to cool for a minute (1/3 cup)
  • 1 tbsp soft preserved ginger, chopped

I like everything really gingery… so I’m going to use 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger instead of the preserved ginger…

candied ginger

And add a couple of tablespoons of  fresh grated ginger, as well…

grated ginger

Preheat oven to 350. Brush a small 8 x 5 loaf pan with a little of the melted butter. Mix all dry ingredients then combine with the melted butter. Press lightly into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

And  here it is…

gingerbread

This recipe could be doubled in size, especially for a family like mine… make sure you use a larger pan if you double it, because the gingerbread should be pressed down fairly thin.

Now for the pumpkin…

This recipe for Pumpkin Filling is from girlichef. Her Gingerbread Pumpkin Bars look yummy, maybe I will try them next time, but for now I want to create something a little different. I want to borrow her filling, minus the nutmeg and cloves,  just my own taste preference…

  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, at room temp.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
  • pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs

Combine all ingredients except the eggs in a large bowl and beat until thoroughly mixed. Beat in the eggs.  Pour mixture in buttered pan. Bake  at 350 for 25-35 minutes or until the filling is set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I crumbled the gingerbread on top and here it is…

dessert

Photo graciously done by my gourmet cook daughter Sarah over at Stir It Up along with  her addition of whipping cream and candied ginger on top…

Please…please…please…let me know about unusual pumpkin recipes that you love, or want to try and if you try this one…let me know how you like it. 🙂

Kale and Colors

Today I pulled out the scraggly green pepper plants and the Purple Hyacinth Bean vine that had entwined itself all over the sundial and the cages surrounding the peppers.

Then I made a new bed for some little lettuce plants that I started in the greenhouse.

The plants in the green house are looking great…

The kale is at a really good size to cut with scissors, so new leaves will grow…

Here’s a little video on how to cut your kale…

It is so gorgeous outside today. The yellow leaves are falling all around and leaving a golden carpet beneath the shadowy trees…

Looking up the golden hued leaves against the blue background of the sky reminds me of the Swedish flag…

I love the different colors of the plants…

The greens…

The purples…

The oranges…

The yellows…

I posted another addition to Fall Gardening called Fall Gardening 3 ~ First Frost.

If anyone is interested in free Purple Hyacinth Bean seeds to plant for next year, I would be glad to send them or give them to you. Just leave me a comment.

They are really incredibly beautiful vines and one of the most proficient plants in the garden this year. Just wish we could eat them. : )

Doesn’t this look like the most wonderful path to walk on? It’s just next door. : )

First Frost

Last night we had our first frost…we also had a beautiful celebration outdoors…

Picked a couple more pumpkins to add to the decor…

This morning the pumpkin vines and basil are all shriveled up, but the greenhouse was a nice cozy 60 degrees. Outside it was 35. We shut it all up yesterday preparing for the cool weather.

Tonight we are enjoying our first fire indoors. : )